Today marks the 99th birthday of the National Park Service and believe it or not, they don't just preserve nature, they preserve the nostalgia of classic cars. Well, mainly one in particular.
Meet the Red Buses of Glacier National Park, made by the White Motor Company in 1914. The classic 17-passenger vehicles were designed by Count Alexis de Sakhoffsky, an industrial stylist who collaborated with the White Motor Company and the Bender Body Company, in order to transport sightseers along the mountainous glaciers. To this day, tourists flock to Glacier National Park for a ride back in time.
Here are some fast facts about the vehicles:
(provided by Glacier National Park Lodges)
- The color of the Red Buses comes from the Ripe Mountain Ash Berry found within the park.
- Of the 33 buses on the road today, 17 are from 1936, 11 are from 1937, 4 are from 1938 and 1 is from 1939.
- The Red Buses have oak frames.
- The drivers are called “Jammers” because they could be heard “Jamming” the gears of the red buses going up Going-to-the-Sun Road when the buses had standard transmissions
- There were over 500 White Model 706’s made for different national parks in the US.
- Women were discouraged from riding in front because they distracted the male drivers.
- No tours were offered in Glacier between 1943 and 1946 due to fuel rationing caused by the second World War.
- The Red Buses received their first automatic transmissions in 1989.
- On the bottom of the grill of the Red Buses, you can still see the area were the crank start used to be.
- The Red Buses, on average, transport 60,000 tourist each summer through the park.
- Ford Motor Company donated over $6 Million to restore 33 buses to keep them in operation.
- The fleet of 33 buses in Glacier are widely considered to be the oldest touring fleet of vehicles anywhere in the world.
- Each red bus is estimated to be worth $250,000. The Red Buses originally cost $5000 each back in 1936.
Yearning for more vintage vehicles from the early 1900s? Look no further than this 1903 Ford.